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Lone Star Rare Exotic Fish Co.

African Arowana / Heterotis niloticus

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African Arowana are a primitive fish that are highly sought after by serious aquarists. Despite being a fish that shows territorial behavior towards the same species, it is peaceful with fish that it does not see as prey, thus not representing danger when kept in community aquariums with fish of similar size or that do not fit in its mouth.

They have an elongated body with a strong prehistoric appearance and a robust and short head. Their eyes are quite large and move independently, like a chameleon, giving them a very endearing and curious look that captures the observer. They have thick lips and large gill plates presenting a dermal flap at the edge. The body is covered in large oval dark bronze scales with a beautiful greenish-blue iridescence. Juvenile fish are often lighter in color, more silver or tan, and marked with dark longitudinal bands. The dorsal and anal fins are elongated, accompanying the entire last third of the fish, ending next to the caudal fin, which is short and rounded.

Unlike other Arowanas, the African Arowana is a filter feeder, though not exclusively. This characteristic makes it a fish that is difficult to feed in aquarium environments. The fish will sometimes stay close to the substrate, constantly sifting it in its mouth constantly. The use of soft substrates such as fine sand is recommended, otherwise it could potentially hurt the fish. You must pay attention to the lateral line of the fish, especially with juveniles. If it becomes very visible, it is a clear sign that the fish is under its ideal weight and not receiving enough nutriution. It is important that juveniles eat regularly, preferably multiple times a day. We like to use a floating barrier in their tank and fill it with blood worms a couple times a day, allowing them a constant source of food to graze from. They can be sensitive to water quality when small and hardly accept commercial dry foods as juveniles. They can be a challenging species to keep when young, so we recommend African Arowana only for experienced fish keepers. As the fish mature and develop fat storage, which is visible along their backs, they can go longer between meals and they become much more tolerant to wider ranges of water conditions. 

A fish suggested only for experienced collectors, but an incredibly rewarding one for those capable of keeping them and a phenomenal addition to any aquarium. Although feeding is a little complicated when young, they are very hardy fish in the right conditions. 

African Arowana Care Information:

​Scientific name:  Heterotis niloticus
Common name: African Arowana, Nile Arowana
Order: Osteoglossiformes — Family:  Arapaimidae
​Distribution: African continent. It occurs naturally in all basins of the Sahelo-Sudanese region. Senegal, Gambia, Corubal, Volta, Ouémé, Niger, Bénoue, Chad and Nile basins and Lake Turkana.
​Behavior: Peaceful
​Adult Size: 3.2’ 
​Life Expectancy: 10+ years
​pH: 6.7 to 7.5
​Temperature: 75 to 86 F
​Minimum size tank: 70 gallons
​Feeding: Omnivorous
​Reproduction: Oviparous. Reproduction occurs in the rainy season in still-water environments. Builds a large circular nest with an edge formed by pieces of plants, protruding above the surface. They demonstrate parental care, with the male taking care of the fry.
​Sexual Dimorphism: Difficult to identify. Females are more robust and smaller than males.
​Additional Information: Among the members of the Osteoglossidae family, it is the only one that feeds on plankton, and they are also mud feeders. It can reach 22 pounds in weight in the wild. They are considered primitive fish. This fish is not a true Arowana, as it belongs to the Arapaimidae family.

Shipping Information, General Information & DOA Policy




Shipping Information

Livestock Shipping Rates
Continental United States:
  • In-stock Livestock under $599: Flat Rate $49.99
  • In-stock Livestock over $599: FREE SHIPPING
  • Pre-Order Livestock under $999: Flat Rate $69.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock over $999: FREE SHIPPING  
  • In-stock Livestock under $299: Flat Rate $19.99
  • In-stock Livestock over $299: FREE SHIPPING
  • Pre-Order Livestock under $499: Flat Rate $29.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock over $499: FREE SHIPPING


  • In-stock Livestock: Flat Rate $99.99
  • Pre-Order Livestock: Flat Rate $119.99


  • We do not ship to Hawaii.
Overnight Delivery
Please note that shipping rates are subject to change.  We are located in the United States and will only ship to the Continental US. We ship using primarily UPS Next Day Air Overnight, which ships directly to your doorstep. Some shipments may be shipped using USPS Priority Express Overnight. Packages are typically delivered between 10:00 am -12:00 pm, but can sometimes be later. The shipping cost includes styrofoam insulation, box, bags, heat packs, etc. The day the shipping label is created, you'll receive an email with tracking information. 
Orders typically ship within 3-10 business days. We ship Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, which means packages are delivered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please specify what day works best for you to receive on the Cart page prior to check out. If no date is selected prior to check out, your order will be shipped the next available day at our convenience. Please remember, most fish require at least 2 days to clear out their digestive systems before shipping, which may delay shipping them out until the following week.
While placing your order, please provide your email address and phone number. 
Free Shipping 
We offer free shipping to the continental United States on qualifying orders. In the vast majority of cases this will be via UPS Overnight, however larger orders or orders that contain very large fish that select free shipping may be required to use Southwest Cargo Airport to Airport shipping or pay 50% of the cost of UPS overnight if direct to doorstep is preferred. If you are planning to place a large order or are ordering a large fish and want to know if your order will require Cargo Shipping, please contract us prior to ordering. 
Airport to Airport Delivery 
This option is only available for large fish or very large orders. 
Airport to airport is typically the fastest, safest, and most economical shipping option for large fish or large orders. The fish are sent to your nearest Southwest Cargo facility at your local airport where you'll be able to pick them up. We will not charge you for shipping if you choose this option. You will pay the airline directly upon pick up, unless Free Shipping applies to your order. 
After placing your order, text us at 936-239-1292 with your Order Number and your Airport Code (ex. LAX, ATL, DFW, JFK, MIA) and we will find the best flight for both you and the fish, as well as walk you through the process if you are unfamiliar with it. 
Local Pick Up
We are located in Livingston Texas (approximately 50 miles North of Houston), but we do not have a public location to visit. However, if you are in the Southeast Texas area and would like to pick up your fish in person, we do offer local meet-up's. Simply select "Local Pick Up" at checkout and include a valid phone number on your order and we will reach out to you to arrange a time to meet up.

General Information

Pre-orders often take 2-4 weeks to fulfill, but can occasionally take 4-8 weeks, so please be prepared to wait after placing your pre-order. 
Photos are not available for any pre-order livestock, and any photos that are offered are only a visual reference and in most cases not the exact fish being offered.
Pre-orders are handled separately from our In-Stock Livestock. If you are wanting to place an order for both In-Stock and Pre-Order Livestock, please place them in separate orders if you want them to ship separately. If you order In-Stock Livestock with your Pre-Order Livestock, your In-Stock Livestock will be held until your Pre-Order Livestock is ready to ship in most cases. 
Pre-orders have a flat rate $99.99 shipping charge for UPS Overnight Shipping to your doorstep, or FREE SHIPPING over $899. If you are placing a very large order we will require Southwest Cargo Airport to Airport Shipping to be used as the shipping method. If you are placing a large order, please reach out to us prior to placing your order if you would like to know if your order is too large to ship via UPS.
Pre-orders are subject to cancellation at any time. Due to the nature of pre-ordering livestock, we can not always guarantee that all of the fish that you order will arrive to us. Sometimes due to factors such as shipping delays, availability changes, or fish arriving to us DOA, we will have to either do a partial or full order cancellation. In the unusual case that we are unable to fulfill your order within 8 weeks of being placed, you can choose to receive a full refund with zero cancellation fees, or we will issue an automatic full refund with zero cancellation fees if we determine that we can not fulfill the order at all. 

Order Cancellation
If you need to make changes to your order, please contact us and we will be happy to assist with any modifications. If an order needs to be canceled after being placed and prior to shipping, we can either issue a store credit for the full amount, or can issue a refund. If a refund is preferred, there will be a 10% fee that will deducted from the refund amount as a service fee and to cover our transactions fees both ways.
Quantity Discounts and Bundles
We offer Quantity Discounts and Bundles on many of our In-Stock Livestock. These discounts will be automatically added to your cart on qualifying livestock and can be combined with other discounts. Please note that these Quantity Discounts DO NOT work when PayPal is used as the payment method. If you are taking advantage of these discounts, make sure to pay by Debit/Credit Card and NOT with PayPal. We have no idea why this is the case with PayPal payments, but it is. We will not issue refunds/discounts after the fact if you use PayPal and your Quantity Discounts are removed, so please be mindful of this in advance. 
Product Photography
We do our best to keep our photos accurate and up to date, but be aware that livestock photos may not always be of the exact fish available unless listed as WYSIWYG. 
Special Requests
Can't find what you're looking for? Head over to our Special Requests page and leave a comment with what you're looking for and we will do our best to find it.
Limitation of Species
We are located in Texas, meaning that while we may be better than all of y'all in the rest of the country, we unfortunately can not keep or sell many of the species that we would like to. This includes fish such as Freshwater Stringrays, Piranha, Arapaima, Electric Eels, and Payara just to name a few. For a full list of restricted species in Texas, head to Texas Parks & Wildlife's list of Invasive, Prohibited and Exotic Species.
Click here to apply for a wholesale account.

Live Arrival Guarantee / DOA Policy

We take great pride in our packaging and losses are a very rare occurrence, even when shipments are unexpectedly delayed. Live arrival is always guaranteed given the conditions listed below are met. If there are any DOA's, we offer full store credit towards your next purchase for the lost items, minus any shipping charges if Free Shipping was not included in your order. No cash refunds. Shipping charges are non-refundable. 

Conditions of Live Arrival Guarantee
1. The package must be received on the first delivery attempt.
2. The package must be sent to the correct address and not a forwarding address. 
3. A clear video of the fish in the original sealed bag must be sent to 936-239-1292 within 2 hours of delivery.
We are not responsible for any losses that occur after the fish is removed from the bag or beyond 2 hours after the marked delivery time, so please make sure that you are available to receive your fish as soon as they arrive and that your tank is ready to accept new livestock.